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Arthur was 57 years old on 9/11. He was born on May 5 in Brooklyn, New York (he always made a big deal about being born on Cinco de Mayo. One year he received a beautiful embroidered Mexican hat from a business associate that he was just so proud to display at home). His parents came to America with their respective families around the 1920s. They left Russia so that their future children would grow up in freedom and have all the benefits and a future that freedom could bring.
Arthur's parents worked in the garment district as sewing machine operators till they retired. They were able to give their three sons, Arthur being the youngest, a quality life filled with warmth, love, caring, good citizenship, and an opportunity to go to college. Arthur received an associates degree at Brooklyn College. He worked days and went to college at night.
I remember Arthur's father, Morris Simon, telling us and our four children, Kenneth, Jennifer, Todd, and Mandy the story of how he came to America with two of his five siblings.
Although there was a big age difference between Arthur and his two older brothers, Philip and Stanley, he was close to both. There wasn't anything the two elder brothers wouldn't do for their baby brother. And as adults, there wasn't anything Arthur wouldn't do for Philip and Stanley. The Simons were, and still are, a very close family with many aunts, uncles and cousins.
Arthur and I met when I was 16-years-old and he was 19-years-old. We were married for 36 years. Kenneth was our firstborn and graduated from SUNY Binghamton and eventually followed in his father's footsteps and worked in the brokerage business; Jennifer came next; graduated from SUNY Cortland and has two master degrees and is a high school science teacher; Todd graduated from SUNY Delhi with an associates degree, spent four years in the navy where he received his bachelors degree; and Mandy, our baby, graduated from University of Central Florida in May of 200 1, with a business degree. When necessary, Arthur worked two jobs to provide for his family. We both felt that college was important for all four children and we agreed to take on all college debt so that the children would have a good start in life. Our youngest, Mandy graduated on May 4, 2001, four months before September 11 tho It was a wonderful time for Arthur to realize his wonderful accomplishment of seeing all four children graduate from college. Arthur's career with Fred Alger Management, Inc. had blossomed and he was doing extremely well. We were able to payoff our debts, help the children, Jennifer was working on her second masters degree, and we were planning our future together. We had grown closer. We looked back at our accomplishments of the past, the joys of the present (we had two infant granddaughters) and the prospects were for a very rosy future; the kind of future that our parents didn't have. We were both healthy and had much to look forward to. Arthur loved his job and always looked forward to going to work. He worked for Fred Alger Management for 21years and was Vice President. He was extremely proud when he was surprised with his promotion to Assistant Vice President and then to Vice President. I only saw Arthur as the 19-year-old boy I met when I was 16.
In those years, Arthur's passion was for music. Rock and Roll to be precise. He loved to dance. Everyone loved to invite us to their parties because they knew we would always be up on the dance floor. In later years, Arthur taped and then "burned" CDs of the "golden oldies." Another one of his passions was digital photography. Arthur embraced the computer with all its potential. He developed pictures, gave away numerous pictures to family and friends; and, framed many pictures of himself with sports celebrities. He installed a camera to the computer so he could see his firstborn granddaughter who lives in California.
Arthur LOVED sports. His favorites were the NY Jets, NY Mets, NY Giants, NY Yankees as well as some basketball, hockey and other sports. He was extremely proud of his son, Todd, who played football in high school and wrestled in both high school and college. At work he had so much opportunity to attend many coveted games. He went to all of the "Subway" World Series games by calling all business associates he knew on Wall Street to get him tickets. He took me to one game and Kenneth to another. Arthur cheered for the Mets and Kenneth cheered for the Yankees. Arthur had a wonderful personality and made many friends on Wall Street who sent him tickets and/or arranged for him to be part of many sports related events. He met many sports personalities and loved having his picture taken with them. Yogi Berra and Tino Martinez were among those he had his picture taken with. In fact, I have the photo of Arthur and Kenneth with Tino Martinez (when he was with the NY Yankees).
Arthur also Loved games of "chance". He always had a system for winning at Blackjack. Going to Atlantic City or Las Vegas was always an exciting event. Arthur was a winner in every sense of the word. He would always buy something of value with the money such as electronics, camera, computer accessories so he would have something concrete to show for his "work" at the craps tables.
Everyone knew what a wonderful dancer he was. He even ran a campaign for "Best Dancer" in his senior year of high school. I fondly remember after Arthur would successfully "bum" a CD wth old rock n roll music he would grab me as I was cleaning up the dinner dishes and we would dance to the "oldies". And, if I wasn't available, he would grab Jennifer or Mandy and dance with them. Although Arthur never drank, smoked, or did drugs, he always seemed to be high. He had a natural zest for life. I knew many of Arthur's associates. I was told by them and those that I had never met the same things. That Arthur always spoke about his wife and children. How much he loved them and how proud he was of his children's accomplishments. He loved having Kenneth in the same business with him and had so much to talk about with Ken. They even worked in the same building, Tower I. Arthur on the 93rd floor for Fred Alger Management and Ken on the 104th floor for Cantor Fitzgerald. Arthur and Ken were very close physically, socially, and emotionally. Ken, like Arthur, was extremely family oriented. Ken was on top of the world. He was 34 years old, married for almost three years and had a four month old daughter.
When the plane hit Tower I he immediately called his wife, Karen, to tell her that he was OK and that a plane hit the building and that he was going to find his" dad" and get out. I never heard from Arthur. He was too close to the impact. No one ever heard from Arthur. Arthur was always so concerned about his personal safety and he was always so lucky in games of chance. He even won a new car from a rafl1e ticket. Ken was my first born. He had so much potential. He was one of the finest people I ever knew. Our family misses them more than I can express in words and they are always in our thoughts.
A short biography of my husband Arthur Simon
By Susan Simon